Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, has undertaken an official visit to Austria with the aim of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Bin Zayed held a meeting with Austria's Sebastian Kurz, where they discussed "friendly ties between the UAE and Austria", as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, according to the official WAM news agency. Ties between the two nations date back to the time of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and then Foreign Minister Bruno Kreisky, who first met in 1973. Diplomatic relations were finally established in 1974.
Kurz said he looked forward to working with the UAE on the development of renewable energy and hydrogen technology, in which both countries are investing. "We strive for closer cooperation, especially in the field of renewable energy and hydrogen," he told UAE state news agency WAM.
Tourism is one of the main areas of cooperation between the Gulf kingdom and Austria. Flights between the two countries are expected to gradually return to their pre-crisis capacity, especially in view of the opening of Expo 2020 in October. The Emirates is also Austria's main economic partner in the region, while Austrian companies are increasing their presence in the kingdom to benefit from the opportunities that Emirati markets offer investors, particularly in the heavy machinery and services sectors.
Dubai Expo 2020 is also expected to offer Austrian companies the opportunity to grow their business in the Gulf kingdom by "showcasing the country's technologies and sustainability, smart cities and renewable energy efforts", according to WAM.
Among the main areas of economic cooperation between the two countries are: digital economy, innovation, information and communication technologies, renewable energy, water, logistics services and aviation. The two countries are also developing their strategic economic partnership and several meetings have been held to promote mutual trade and investment.
The UAE is seeking through Dubai Expo 2020 to strengthen its position in the region, as well as in the rest of the world as a technological reference, in addition to seeking to attract foreign investment. Dubai Expo 2020 will be the first global expo to be held in the MEASA (Middle East, Africa and South Asia) region in the UAE and will run from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 after it was postponed from last year due to the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This global conclave will bring together more than 200 countries to explore new ideas, form new connections and collectively address some of the biggest global challenges; keeping true to the main theme of Expo Dubai 2020: 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'; all aimed at fostering worldwide cooperation to address and solve global challenges by promoting the development of the most innovative technologies. Everything will revolve around the three main pillars of the world's fair: Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility.